This simple pear crisp is easy to make and uses basic ingredients you probably have on hand already. It’s the perfect dessert for fall and winter!
Huge news! Or regular news(!) unless you’re really interested in the minute details of my life.
I’ve discovered that I like pears! At least I like them in desserts. I’m still not super into eating them plain.
The dessert that converted me? This pear crisp. I’ve always thought of pears as apples’ unfortunate cousins and they were the one fruit I had zero interest in. Their flavor is lovely but ohmygoodness, they’re so sweet. And the skin is grainy. Just no thanks.
But then I saw some gorgeous pears at the store and wondered if I’d like them baked into a crisp with a crunchy, buttery topping to cut through the cloying sweetness. The pears are peeled so I don’t have to deal with the icky skin. . .
Spoiler alert: this pear crisp allowed me to enjoy that gorgeous pear flavor without having to deal with the parts of pears that I don’t like. And now I LOVE PEARS! Though to be fair, I’d love cardboard if it came topped with a buttery, oat-y crumble.
Why you’ll love this pear crisp:
- It’s so easy to make and comes together quickly
- The ingredients are simple and you probably have them all on hand right now
- Minimal ingredients in the filling allow the flavor of the pears to shine through
How to make your pear crisp
First, cut 5 tablespoons of COLD unsalted butter into cubes and replace it in the fridge. The butter goes in your topping and you want it nice and chilled so you get a perfectly crumbly topping.
Next, peel, core and slice your pears. This is the most time-consuming part of the pear crisp and next time I’m going to bribe someone to do it for me. Most people are up for a little manual labor when they get to have dessert afterward right?
Combine the sliced pears with lemon juice, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and some vanilla extract, then stir until the pears are evenly coated in the sugar.
Set the pears aside and combine your cold butter with brown sugar, rolled oats, chopped almonds, and salt in a food processor.
Pulse about 10 times, until the topping is combined but still has visible chunks in it.
Arrange the pear filling in a greased 9-inch square baking pan and sprinkle the crumb topping over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the topping is golden and you can see the pear juices bubbling.
Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving—the crisp is delicious served warm or cold but if you serve it immediately the filling falls apart. If you want to serve it cold, you can refrigerate it, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for a couple of days.
I didn’t add any spices to this crisp, and just added a bit of vanilla as flavor so you’d really taste the pears. But if you want to mix things up feel free to try these variations:
- substitute 1/4 teaspoon almond extract for the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or a pinch of nutmeg to the filling.
All that writing about this pear crisp has me craving it again. Who’s up for peeling some pears for me? There’s dessert in it for you!
Did you make this simple pear crisp? Awesome! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Instagram too! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your creations! Then like IBK on Facebook and follow on Pinterest for more delicious recipes.
This pear crisp is an easy and delicious dessert to serve all winter long!
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 6 cups peeled cored and sliced pears (from 2 to 3 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almonds coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Combine the sliced pears, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to coat the pears evenly.
Spread the pears into an even layer in the baking pan.
Remove butter from the fridge and and combine with the oats, almonds, salt, and remaining brown sugar in a food processor. Pulse 10 to 15 times, until combined but still chunky.
Sprinkle the butter mixture evenly over the pear mixture. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the topping is browned and the pear juices are bubbling. Cool at least 20 minutes, then serve. Store uneaten crisp loosely covered in the fridge for 2 days.
Be your butter is chilled well before you make your topping.